Protecting the interests of patients and their families
The National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) is committed towards delivering medical excellence and genuine care to our patients. We aim to serve you and your family by providing quality healthcare built on values of compassion, respect and integrity. Our medical professionals endeavour to treat your medical condition and safeguard your well-being regardless of your age, race, language, religion or social status.
Care and Respect
Confidentiality and Privacy
- At NHCS, you shall be treated with dignity in a humane and safe environment. Your personal safety includes being free from physical restraints or seclusion, unless required as part of your overall medical treatment. Appropriate protection will be accorded to the disabled, elderly and those with special needs.
- We respect your personal values, religious, spiritual and cultural beliefs, and need for privacy. You may express your religious and/or cultural practices so long as they do not cause disharmony or conflict. If you require support in this area, please inform your nurse who can arrange for a religious counsellor to visit you.
- We understand that making decisions about medical treatment for a serious illness can be difficult for you and your family. If required, you can request to involve the Bioethics Committee to look into the issues on the medical management together with you and your family. We will respect and comply with your decisions made in accordance with your Advance Medical Directive1 if you have already made one.
- We appreciate that you may want to obtain a second opinion from other healthcare professionals within NHCS or another healthcare organisation on your diagnosis and treatment plans. Should you decide to obtain a second opinion, please talk to any member of your care team.
Explanation and Information About Your Treatment
- We are bound by law and professional ethics to keep your medical records, including information from the National Electronic Health Records2, and all aspects of care rendered to you, strictly confidential.
- This information will only be shared with those involved in providing care for you.
- This information may also be shared with other staff members in the hospital administration for the purpose of hospital operations, e.g. monitoring of the services rendered to you by our staff members.
- NHCS is the national referral centre and preferred training centre in the region. It is also the major centre for medical research and clinical trials in this region. Thus there may be a need to view patients’ medical records for medical research and training purposes, as authorised by the law or NHCS. However those who have access to your records are under legal obligation not to disclose the information to anyone.
- We may also be required by law to disclose the information in certain circumstances, such as for the purpose of notifying infectious diseases.
- Other than those mentioned above, we will obtain a written authorisation from you should we need to release your medical information to others.
As a tertiary centre, NHCS trains doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. Trainees in medical, nursing and allied health disciplines may participate in your care as appropriate under the supervision of the physician-in-charge.
You are entitled to information on your medical condition, conveyed in a way you can understand. This information shall include (except in emergencies and where applicable):
- Treatment options (including surgery process)
- Known outcome
- Known risks of treatment
- Known risks and consequences of non-treatment
- Estimated hospital bill
- Plan for your continuous care after discharge
- Names of the healthcare professionals responsible for your treatment
The information provided will help you decide whether to give consent to, or refuse the proposed treatment and/or procedure.
If you choose not to undergo treatment, or leave the hospital against the doctor’s advice, to the extent permitted by law, you may do so only after signing a form to request discharge against medical advice. You will be fully responsible for the consequences of your decision.
Some patients may be invited to participate in clinical research. Before conducting a medical research involving human subjects, we are required to obtain a written consent from the patients to participate in the research project. You can choose not to participate or to opt-out at any point during the research project, even after giving your written consent. Your decision not to participate will not compromise the level of care you are entitled to.
Organ donation is the only way to give better quality of life for patients suffering from organ failure, such as heart, liver and kidney failure. The Human Organ Transplant Act or HOTA allows for the organs (kidneys, liver, heart and corneas) of those who have died in the hospitals, from both accidental and non-accidental deaths, to be removed for the purpose of transplantation. It applies to all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents 21 years and above, who are not mentally disordered, unless they have opted out. It also regulates living donor transplantation.
HOTA allows many patients to lead a normal, active life again. Those who are under HOTA will not only have the chance to help others, but will also have higher priority on the waiting lists should they need an organ transplant. You may opt-out of HOTA if you do not wish to donate any organ after death. Your wish will be respected. The opt-out form is available at the hospital and polyclinics, or from the National Organ Transplant Unit at Block 3 Level 1, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore 169608, Tel: 6321 4390.
For more information, please contact HOTA Hotline: 1800-2254-122 or visit the Ministry of Health website at www.moh.gov.sg.
While we have the responsibility to safeguard your interests as our patient, it is important for you to play your part in the entire treatment process. We want to give you the best possible care that meet your needs and addresses the anxieties of your family.
We ask that you and your family:
1. Provide complete information on your medical histories (including allergies and medicines you are taking), financial circumstances, and other relevant details to enable us to help you.
2. Comply with the treatment plans given to you by our healthcare professionals.
3. Inform us when you encounter problems that prevent you from complying with the treatment plans.
4. Advise us of changes in your medical condition.
5. Settle promptly the required fees and charges for the medical services provided to you.
6. Appoint a decision-maker to represent your wishes about your care to us in the event that you are unable to do so.
7. Treat all staff members, and other patients and visitors with due respect and courtesy.
8. Comply with hospital regulations such as policy on visitation.
9. Ask questions when you do not understand so that we can clear any doubts or address any concerns you may have which will help you to better take care of yourself at home after discharge.
10. Inform us in advance if you are unable to keep your follow-up appointments.
We value feedback as part of our efforts to continously improve our services for the benefit of our patients. If you have any suggestion or wish to share your experience about our services, you may wish to call our Service Quality Officer at Tel: 6704 2379 / 6704 2059, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We thank you for placing your trust in us.
This document is also available in the following languages (please click to download a copy):
1Advance Medical Directive (AMD) is a legal document which you can sign in advance to inform the doctor treating you that you do not want any life-sustaining treatment to prolong your life in the event that you become terminally ill and unconscious.
2National Electronic Health Record (NEHR) is a patient data exchange system that enables clinicians and healthcare professionals to see your health record across the national healthcare network supporting them in decision making when treating you.
NEHR includes information such as:
• Admission & visit history
• Inpatient Discharge summaries
• Laboratory, X-Ray and other radiological test results
• Medicines prescribed
• Allergies and Immunisations
To find out more about AMD and NEHR, please visit the Ministry of Health’s website at www.moh.gov.sg
Updated June 2017